For about two months now I’ve been on what you can call, a spiritual journey. During this time, I’ve worked on my connection with the man upstairs in a few ways… Church every Sunday, bible study every Thursday, attempting to stay in constant communication with God, so on and so on… Basically all of the things that are supposed to be no brainers, right?
So about 4 weeks ago I was sitting in bible study when my pastor spoke briefly about fasting. He said, “all fasting is, is abstaining from something that you’re connected to in order for God to make room for something else in your life”. In that instance, it was as if a light bulb went off in my head. I decided that night after bible study that I would start a fast in order for God to work on a few things within my life… but what would I abstain from?
Throughout the night I evaluated all of the things that I was attached to and that would serve as a sacrifice for God. I determined that there were three things that I was absolutely sure of:
- Social Media
- Juices (and in this case sodas as well)
I knew that I couldn’t cut out social media all together being that it is my main source of communication, however I decided that at 10 p.m. every night I would not check any of my accounts. This meant that I couldn’t open the apps at all. (I would do this from 10 p.m. to 10 a.m. every day) In addition to this, I would not spend any money on things that weren’t essential to me and I would also only drink water from sun up to sun down. Pretty simple, right?
Wrong. The timeline went a little like this:
Day 1-3 of fasting: This is easy, it’ll be a breeze.
Day 4-8 of fasting: Why did I start this fast? I need to check my Snapchat.
And let’s just say that it didn’t get any easier from there. I had to constantly remind myself of the things that I was asking of God in exchange for the things that I was sacrificing. My requests to him were patience, strength, self-control, and a greater awareness of his presence.
The last day of my fast was July 31st, so that August 1st I could start fresh. Here we are August 12th, and I can say that I learned so much during that time. When it came to social media, I constantly felt as if I were missing something… I was missing people’s lives because I wasn’t watching it on Snapchat and I was missing their thoughts because I couldn’t read it on Twitter. Not to mention the night I went out for my linesister’s birthday. Everyone knows that people go to the club just to document how much fun their having (as crazy as it sounds) Seeing everyone around me Snapchat their favorite song lyrics and pictures with their friends while I couldn’t, didn’t sit well with me. Being that I couldn’t snap, it was like that saying, “if a tree falls in the forest and no one’s around to hear it, did it make a sound?” In this case, if I was out and enjoying myself but no one was able to see it, did it really happen?
The other two sacrifices were far easier. Living in Florida in the summer is no joke, so every day I made sure to have my container filled with water. That was smooth sailing until I forgot to grab it one day before class. A quick stop to the gas station to purchase a bottle solved that issue. As time went on, instead of just drinking water only from sun up to sun down, I’d find myself drinking it at night as well.
Shopping went pretty well also, my only expenditures included some clothing that I needed for my new blog pictures but I refrained from going to stores that would tempt me into purchasing things that I really didn’t need.
Through the course of my fast, and afterwards, I have found myself to be extremely thankful. I knew that the end of the fast wouldn’t mean that I’d automatically wake up to being more patient, strong, and cognizant of God’s presence.. but I did know that it would be a step in the right direction. I find myself much more peaceful in times that would regularly upset me and disturb my inner peace. I’m human so yes, I do have moments of weakness but now I find myself relying on God’s strength to uphold me rather than pulling from deep within for temporary moments of relief, when his word tells us that in our weaknesses, his power is made perfect. (2 Corinthians 12:9-11) And to top it all off? I’ll end with a story…
During this time, I was extremely discouraged with my job. I’d been feeling like nothing that I was doing was good enough and that it was pretty much pointless for me to put the amount of effort in that I’d been putting fourth becasue it wasn’t truly appreciated or acknowledged. [Keep in mind that one of the terms of my fast was to receive a keener awareness of God’s presence.] Around the last few days of my fast, I was at work stocking shelves when someone said, “Hi”. When I turned around, I saw that the greeting came from an older white woman who’d been in the store about a month earlier. As she continued down the aisle, she stalled for a moment and turned back around. When she caught my eye she told me that she’d just talked to my manager about how great of an employee that I was and she then goes on to say, “hard work doesn’t go unnoticed. You’ll be blessed. It may not be today and it may not be tomorrow but you will be. Just keep doing what you’re doing.” When she walked away I knew that God used her to speak to me because I was at my lowest of low points in this job. Here’s the thing, when I pray, I always ask God to make things clear and plain. He knows that if he were to send me a sign, I’d miss it every time. The only signs I understand are the ones that slap me in the face, and usually those come a tad bit too late. But from that moment on, I knew that he was breaking down the barriers of communication between me and him and for that, I am eternally grateful.
Do you have any questions about fasting? Or are you thinking about doing a fast? Let me know!
From Me to You, Love.